At some point in his life, every man has to decide what he stands for. Who is he really, deep inside? What are his values? Last night at Camden Yards, while the Baltimore Orioles took on the New York Yankees, 56-year-old Tolbert Rowe reached that point in his life. He stood up, bravely and proudly, in front of a stadium full of people, and with one small act declared: “I am a fucking moron.”
Every time Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez stepped to the plate, Rowe rose from his seat and ostentatiously turned his back to the field.
After the game, Rowe spoke to the Washington Post, and explained his actions in the precise way you’d expect him to:
“I don’t respect him,” said Rowe, a 56-year-old who serves on the Caroline County board of education. “He doesn’t deserve to be watched. Absolutely not, I’m sorry. You know, and now they got all this about his tying Willie Mays’s record and the $6 million, and he has the audacity to think that he should be paid. I’m sorry. I don’t respect the guy. Not one bit.”
What about the many past and present Baltimore Orioles players who have been just as strongly linked to PEDs as A-Rod has? Guys like Chris Davis, Rafael Palmeiro, Nelson Cruz, Everth Cabrera, Miguel Tejada, and Jay Gibbons. Would Rowe offer them the same treatment?
Rowe never turned his back on them, and he said he would not have protested any drug cheat aside from Rodriguez. “Oh, no,” he admitted. “Just him.”
As he watched the bottom of the seventh inning, a reporter asked Rowe why he didn’t mind the Orioles signing [Nelson] Cruz. He paused. “It was different,” Rowe said. “Cruz’s record wasn’t anywhere near what A-Rod’s was. It would be similar to me finding out that Cal Ripken was on steroids during The Streak.”
Well, that doesn’t make any sense! (Also: the guy who played 2,632 consecutive games over 16 seasons and hit for a 144 OPS+ during his age-38 season was definitely clean?) Fans are wonderful.